Bangla deploys troops in north as fresh clashes kill another 21
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Bangladesh on Sunday deployed army in its north as a fresh wave of violence claimed 21 lives, taking the death toll to about 80, in clashes that have rocked the nation since the conviction of Islamist leaders for 1971 war crimes.
Violence broke out last Thursday after 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), was sentenced to death by International Crimes Tribunal.
The two-day strike called by JI starting Sunday coincided with President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Bangladesh. Another shutdown called by JI's alliance partner and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia on the last day of President Mukherjee's visit on March 5.
Jamaat activists overnight torched a train and attacked several police installations in northwestern Bangladesh as they enforced a nationwide 48-hour stoppage to halt ongoing trial of their leaders. Authorities called army troops in north-western Bogra where seven people were killed in shootouts after the JI activists attacked a police station with homemade bombs and guns at the cantonment area. "Two platoon troops were deployed on request from the local administration as the violence erupted at the cantonment area," an army spokesman told PTI.
Twenty one people, including a police constable, were killed Sunday and about 50 others were injured in the violence on Sunday.
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir clashed with the police in the districts of Bogra, Joypurhat, Jhenaidah and Rajshahi districts throughout the day.
Of those killed, nine died in early morning clash in three upazilas of Bogra while six in two upazilas of Joypurhat during Jamaat-called 48-hour shutdown, the Daily Star reported.
Two, including a young boy, were killed in a gunfight between Jamaat-Shibir men and police in Godagari upazila of Rajshahi while a police constable was killed in clash with Jamaat-Shibir in Jhenidah.
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